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Unusual light reflections

  1. Jul 15, 2004 #1
    sitting in my rocking chair writng, late night,leaned back and a light in the darkened bathroom mirror suddenly appeared which is in another room-my door is usually closed.
    Curious, i find that the light is coming from neighbors 2nd floor bathroom--but really curious
    is the reflection of my bedroom door and mirror (which is reflectiing a light standing before my window) that looks out in same direction as bathroom window---OK, i realize this is complicated- but multible reflections are 'happening'---and these are seen through my bt-window as if suspended
    in mid-air between the houses--very interesting (have never lived in situation this close to another house).

    approaching this 'apparition' from the bd- door i can see nothing-unless i approach at an unusual angle--i can see it as thin as a sheet of paper or move slowly to the right and see the 'complete vision' of the door.

    I know that glass doors etc. will give a similiar 'illusion' of the 'inside' reflected into the night.This was unusual because the room was dark and i see something unexpected--normally wouldn't take notice of the 'ordinary window reflections/projections'.

    Two questions-no temperature inversions, and yet 'cleary' a 'mirage' is visible--what's going on?

    Why is there an image seemlngly projected into the night space--what i'm saying is that the 'image' is not simply 'a reflection on the surface of the glass',,,,it looks like there's a door and the inside of my room suspended in space. What's happening here?

    2. Could 'similiar' 'conditions' somehow exist naturally? Suppose a lake or other body of water
    or reflective surface; or/and possibly a very thin layer of misty water as a fog -whether near the ground or in the air; or even way up in the sky and 'frozen';

    and, possibly lights could be reflected 'back and forth' among these 'reflective' 'surfaces' and produce the illusion of lights 'flying' and suddenly vanishing! All depends on the angle one observes
    the 'reflections'--which may change as the observer changes postion or as the world turns or as the light source changes or the conditions change (wind blows the fog or cloud away--or 'heavy cloud' passes by and blocks the view.

    Well, all very strange--i mean, i see this door out there into another dimension!

    But what actually comes to mind is that an interesting 'theory' was offered concerning the recent Mexican UFOs--that they might be the 'reflections of fires burning on the oil rigs' in the gulf or reflections from satellites..... what 'conditions' would be necessary to produce illusionary lights.....
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    The stuff of magic eh; illusions? I think in the end it all comes down to the apparent size of an object.

    Maccabee goes into to all of this in his analysis of this and other events. Basically, any boundary layer such as an abrupt temperature change can produce mirror-like reflections that we see as mirages. The angles involved are critical. Generally the angles of incidence and reflection of the source on the reflective surface - the boundary layer eg the hot surface of a road - are near glancing angles. Any particular situation has to be analyzed based on the exact positions of all sources and observers, and the particular conditions that made the mirage possible. RADAR mirages are "seen" as well. Often this involves a distant, large, land based object; as I understand things.
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